Keen boxer Curtis Rimmington always values his visits to the Cancer Wellbeing and Information Centre at Colchester Hospital.

For the 31-year-old describes the centre as a “safe space” where you can always find a cup of tea, listening ear and a friendly face ready to help.

Curtis was diagnosed with a brain tumour and epilepsy in 2018 and has visited the centre ever since it opened. He has since received counselling and enjoyed Reiki, reflexology and massage sessions, as well as taking part in a breathing class. 

"The centre has made a really big difference to me." said Curtis, who lives in Colchester with partner Laura, four year old son Arthur and rescue dog Skye.

"I see it as a safe space where you can take your mid off everything. It's peaceful and relaxing and the staff are all really lovely"

“When you’re unwell it can put a lot of pressure on your partner and family, so it’s important to have someone independent you can turn to as well. Everyone at the centre is also really easy to talk to, which I find useful as it helps me to detach for a little while. I do feel guilty when I drop in though as I end up eating all of their biscuits!” 

Curtis was diagnosed aged just 25 after being rushed to hospital when he suffered a seizure in the middle of the night. He now takes medication to help manage his conditions and has regular MRI scans and check-ups. 

“It’s great to know that the staff at the centre are there if I need them,” added Curtis. “They’ve told me just to ask if I think I could benefit from more counselling or any other support. Everything I’ve done there so far has been brilliant, as the breathing class was energising, while the Reiki and reflexology helped me to really chill out and forget about the world. It has also given me the confidence to start using my left arm once more and exercising again. Slowly getting back to using the punch bag has been brilliant for my confidence. 

“I would definitely encourage people to support the appeal if they are able to, and Laura and I would also like to do what we can to raise money too as the centre has made such a big difference to me. It really is an important resource for people when they need a bit of help or support.”